'''Bedřich Smetana''' (; 2 March 1824 – 12 May 1884) was a Czechs|Czech
composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. He is thus widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Music of the Czech Lands|Czech music
. Internationally he is best known for his opera ''The Bartered Bride
'' and for the symphonic cycle ''Má vlast
'' ("My Homeland"), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native land.
Smetana was naturally gifted as a composer, and gave his first public performance at the age of 6. After his conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch
. His first nationalistic music was written during the Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire|1848 Prague uprising
, in which he briefly participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for...